Sunday, September 14, 2008


From the Times:
David Foster Wallace, whose darkly ironic novels, essays and short stories garnered him a large following and made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, was found dead in his California home on Friday, after apparently committing suicide, the authorities said.
The world is a dimmer place. Truly heartbreaking. DFW's writing has made me laugh out loud regularly, and I've never felt more attuned to any other writer's thinking. He saw through layers of nonsense that most of us often aren't even aware of. DFW's work set off fireworks in my head multiple times per page and I'm so, so sad that his voice has been silenced. I have loved no others writer's voice as much. I'm no believer, but I wish I were so that I could believe DFW was in a better place. My heart is broken. DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN.

From the LATimes:
"He is one of the main writers who brought ambition, a sense of play, a joy in storytelling and an exuberant experimentalism of form back to the novel in the late '80s and early 1990s," Ulin said. "And he really restored the notion of the novel as a kind of canvas on which a writer can do anything." . . .

In a 1996 profile in the New York Times Magazine, Frank Bruni wrote, "Wallace is to literature what Robin Williams or perhaps Jim Carrey is to live comedy: a creator so maniacally energetic and amused with himself that he often follows his riffs out into the stratosphere, where he orbits all alone."

Below is the most recent footage of DFW I have found after a cursory search. Witness a touch of his comic observational brilliance. It strikes me that he's very often painted himself as the outsider, and without getting crassly psychoanalytic about it, I leave it to you to attribute whatever amount of importance you will to his final remark.

For an impressively comprehensive array of DFW-philia, including bibliography, interviews, and the like, visit DFW fansite The Howling Fantods.

Here are two of my favorites, though it's hard to choose only two. And of course, rule #1 with DFW: DON'T SKIP THE FOOTNOTES!

Federer as Religious Experience

David, we'll miss you.


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